Mirta Galesic

Professor, Santa Fe Institute, USA

Personal website


Mirta Galesic is a professor at the Santa Fe Institute, external faculty at the Complexity Science Hub in Vienna, Austria, and at the Vermont Complex Systems Center, UVM, and an associate researcher at the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the University of Potsdam, Germany.

She studies how simple cognitive mechanisms interact with properties of the external environment to produce seemingly complex social phenomena. In one line of research, she examines how apparent cognitive biases in social judgements emerge as a product of the interplay between well-adjusted minds and the statistical structure of the social environment. In another line of research, she examines how collective performance depends on the interaction of group decision-making strategies and network structures. A third branch of research examines opinion dynamics in real societies using cognitively enriched models from statistical physics. And it investigates how people understand and cope with uncertainty and complexity inherent in many everyday decisions.

Research interests

  • Social rationality
  • Sampling and cognition
  • Risk communication
  • Survey methodology

Selected publications

Galesic, M., Aikman, D., Gigerenzer, G., Kapadia, S., Katsikopoulos, K. V., Kothiyal, A., Murphy, E., and Neumann, T., (2021): Taking uncertainty seriously: Simplicity versus complexity in financial regulation. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtaa024

Galesic, M. & Garcia-Retamero, R. (2013). Using analogies to communicate information about health risks.

Galesic, M., Trevena, L., Zikmund-Fisher, B., Edwards, A., Gaissmaier, W., Han, P., King, J., Lawson, M., Linder, S., Lipkus, I., Ozanne, E., Peters, E., Timmermans, D., & Woloshin, S., (2013): Presenting quantitative information about decision outcomes: a risk communication primer for patient decision aid developers. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6947-13-S2-S7

Galesic, M., Olsson, H., & Rieskamp, J., (2012): Social sampling explains apparent biases in judgments of social environments. DOI: 10.1177/0956797612445313

Galesic, M., Cokely, E., Schulz, E., Ghazal, S., & Garcia-Retamero, R. (2012). Measuring risk literacy: The Berlin Numeracy Test. DOI: 10.1037/t45862-000

Galesic, M. & Garcia-Retamero, R. (2012). The risks we dread: A social circle account. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0032837